OMAHA, Neb., Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Union Pacific today announced a $60,000 donation to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), a national organization serving military service members who incurred service-connected injuries or illnesses on or after Sept. 11, 2001, and their families.
"We are extremely honored to contribute to Wounded Warrior Project, whose vision is to foster our nation's most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members," said Jack Koraleski, Union Pacific president and CEO. "Our company has a strong bond with the military, and the fact that military veterans represent approximately 20 percent of our employees reflects the special efforts we make to recruit them. We are proud of this connection."
"It is through donations from companies such as Union Pacific that we are able to provide programs and services for injured service members," said Steve Nardizzi, executive director, Wounded Warrior Project. "We are grateful to Union Pacific for its support."
More than 50,000 service men and women have been injured in the recent military conflicts. In addition to the physical wounds, it is estimated as many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war including combat-related stress, major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Another 320,000 are believed to have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment.
Union Pacific has a long and deep connection to the U.S. military, dating back to the company's beginning when it hired Civil War veterans to help construct America's first transcontinental railroad. During World War I, Union Pacific granted thousands of railroad employees indefinite leaves of absence with pay to serve the country. In addition, Union Pacific prioritized its flow of resources and goods to support various war efforts. During World War II, Union Pacific donated a renovated passenger terminal so soldiers arriving from across the country could take comfort in homemade meals from local citizens at the historic North Platte, Neb., canteen.
Today, Union Pacific supports the military by shipping thousands of rail cars of military equipment to support our armed forces protecting the nation.
Approximately 23 percent of Union Pacific's 2012 new hires - nearly 800 in total - are military veterans.
The railroad's progressive reservist policy, which compensates the difference between military and company pay for employees called to duty and continues to provide health plan benefits for dependents when employees are deployed, is one example of how Union Pacific supports its reserve, active duty and veteran employees and their families.
Another example is UPVETS, a Union Pacific employee resource group devoted to attracting, developing and retaining employees who are military veterans.
Union Pacific donated funds to Wounded Warrior Project from one-time tax credits the company earned for hiring veterans meeting various government criteria. These veterans are talented and highly qualified individuals. As part of Union Pacific's 150th anniversary year, the company chose to donate tax credit funds in appreciation of its military and veteran employees and all the country's service men and women.
Union Pacific frequently is recognized for its commitment to military veterans. The company received the inaugural Hiring Our Heroes Award for Post 9/11 Veteran Employment and Internships by the National Chamber Foundation; has been named a top military friendly employer by G.I. Jobs 10 times; and was one of just three companies selected to the Platinum category by Military Times EDGE as a Best for Vets Employer. The company is a member of the Army Reserve's Employee Partnership Initiative; is a supporter of the Army Partnership for Youth Success program; is a past recipient of the Freedom Award, the U.S. government's highest employer recognition; and the Military Officers Association of America Distinguished Service Award.
About Union Pacific
It was 150 years ago that Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. One of America's iconic companies, today Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain. From 2000 through 2011, Union Pacific spent more than $31 billion on its network and operations, making needed investments in America's infrastructure and enhancing its ability to provide safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and emphasizes excellent customer service. Union Pacific operates competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.
About Wounded Warrior Project®
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP's purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
SOURCE Union Pacific